Cover art by Julia Y on view at damedeeso / getty images

Here’s some news that’ll make my enemies happy—I’ve got a concussion! Last week some ding-dong ran a stop sign and plowed into my car. Lucky for him, he didn’t harm my beautiful face. Unluckily, the same can’t be said for my second most beautiful feature: MY BRAIN.

According to the doctor, my minor concussion could exhibit the following symptoms: clumsiness (I’m not drunk this time!), sensitivity to noise (can you please stop breathing so loudly?), irritability (fuck you), confusion (why isn’t there an entire radio station devoted to Ariana Grande?), and problems with my... umm... what’s that brain part that remembers things? Ah! Memory.

Anyway, so I was like, “Thank you for your diagnosis, doctor. Now if you’ll prescribe me a bucket of oxycodone, I’ll be on my way.” But get this! Not only did I NOT receive a bottomless tub of oxy, I didn’t get any drugs at all! Instead, the doctor ordered me to stay off computer, phone, and TV screens for a whopping TWO FULL DAYS. What is this?!? The Middle Ages?!? What’s next? Attaching leeches to my dick?

So I was like, “Excuse me, Dr. Quacky, but do you know who I am?” I explained that asking the editor of a major metropolitan news biweekly to not use a computer is like asking a monkey to stop throwing feces... in other words, an impossibility.

“Either rest your brain,” scolded the doc, “or your symptoms will get worse.”

I responded appropriately: “Oh yeah, well, YOUR symptoms are going to get worse when I sue you for... damn it, what’s the word... maleficence! No... malignancy! No... malapropism?”

“Do you mean malpractice?”

“YES! Or... no. I can’t remember what we were talking about!”

“Staying off screens for two days.”

I howled with sarcastic laughter. “OH RIGHT. So I’m just supposed to ignore Twitter? Do you think Netflix is going to watch itself? And most importantly, how will I write my hilarious column? My readers will not stand for it!”

“Well,” the doctor asked, “how did people write columns before computers?”

“I have no idea,” I said pulling out my phone. “Hold on, I’ll Google it.”

“Mr. Humphrey!” he snapped. “I don’t care how you write your column! Get an intern... use a typewriter... just NO SCREENS! Good day! [SLAM!]”

Ow. For someone who’s supposedly worried about concussions, he sure likes to slam doors.

And so, here we are. I’m writing this column just like Johannes Gutenberg (the inventor of the printing press) did way back in 1450—by dictating it to an unpaid intern named Phillip. What’s more, I’ve ordered Phillip to transcribe my words onto this page using an old-timey typewriter purchased at a twee hipster store that also sells terrariums, monogrammed buttons, and witchcraft books.

Now you may ask, “Wait... Phillip doesn’t have a concussion... why can’t he use a computer?” The answer is simple: I can’t remember your question. Anyway, you should be happy you’re getting a column at all. Imagine for a moment, a world without my brain. Chilling, isn’t it? Luckily for you, my precious cerebellum should be back to its whip-smart self in a few days. Until then, send your well wishes to... hmm. I was gonna say steve@portlandmercury.com, but I’m banned from screens. So instead send them to “Unpaid Intern Phillip” (care of this newspaper) who will type your messages onto nice “get well soon” cards and then read them all to me aloud. (If this is somehow confusing to you, maybe I’m not the only one with a concussion.)

Your... what’s the word?... pal,
Wm. Steven Humphrey
Editor-in-Chief
Portland Mercury